Ashland, OH | 19 years old
Many things could be said about what being on staff at Summit is like. I could talk about the incredible leadership, great friendships, brilliant lectures and of course, the surrounding beauty of the mountains. However, one theme rises above all the others: The importance of truth and relationship.
Never have I seen such a vivid picture of what truth and relationship intertwined looks like then while working alongside this incredible staff team. Their love for the students is undeniable and their dedication to the truth is unparalleled. And most importantly, this love and dedication stem from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Witnessing the dynamic duo of truth and relationship caused me to ask the question: Can truth and relationship exist apart from each other? I quickly came to the conclusion that truth without relationship is useless; because knowing truth serves virtually no purpose when there is no one, to tell the truth to. Similarly, a relationship without truth becomes a deceptive and poisonous relationship that can only end in heartache. Both truth and relationship can exist dependently, but neither is desirable apart from the other. Truth has a purpose in a relationship, and a relationship has steadiness in truth.
Amidst all these thoughts, the Lord has continually brought to mind Jesus’ discussion with the lawyer in Matthew 22:36-39. The lawyer asks, “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment?’ And He (Jesus) said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Loving the Lord with all heart, soul, and mind is a commanded to each Christian. Just as truth without relationship is meaningless, so is a knowledge of God without a relationship with God. As a student of mine aptly put it, “God deserves far more than to be understood, He deserves to be worshiped.”
Being a follower of Christ is far more than an intellectual pursuit; it is about having a heart, soul, and mind completely devoted to the Savior. Christ does not want part of me, He wants all of me. Thankfully, I worship a God who is more than capable to satisfy all intellectual and relational desires. This is exactly what I want the students who come to Summit to understand. In the words of Jesus, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). As Christians, we can have a relationship with the source of truth Himself.